Mellow indie rock/Emo. The Florida band was formed in 2001 by lead vocalist and songwriter Aaron Marsh. After releasing four albums between 2003 and 2008, the band announced it would be taking a hiatus. “Ixora” is its return after six years, and the lyrics illustrate the maturing of Marsh’s songwriting as he reaches his mid-30s. The tunes are all vocally driven, supported with piano, strings, flute (or flute-like synth), occasionally brass, and rhythm. A few songs will surprise you with a funkier beat or a saxophone solo — but most are ideal for chilling or playing in the background while studying. By the way, Ixora is a tropical flower found in Florida.
Recommended: 1, 4, 2, 8, 6. No FCCs detected.
1. (2:53) Have I Always Loved You? – Airy and beautiful. Delicately fingerpicked guitar. Quavering vocals, with breathy falsetto in places. Sweet harmonies. Rhythm and flute added in the second verse. ****
2. (4:36) Disjointed – Shimmering, bell-like synths. Melodic piano. Rhythm and handclaps. Great lyrics. Builds toward end. 30-second drum trail-out. ***
3. (4:05) I Can Make You Feel Young Again – Almost chanted opening. Lush harmonies interspersed with lead vocals. Prominent flute-like flourishes. Spacey and airy in lead break.
4. (4:27) Erase – Piano ballad. Emo vocals. Strings add drama. Intimate lyrics. “You’re still the breeze upon my skin/Close my eyes/Breathe you in.” Then, builds to bigger, anthem-like feel. ***
5. (4:11) Lavender – Electronic, beat-driven song, backed by strings and harps (or the synth equivalents). Almost a bossa nova feel. Interesting tempo changes.
6. (3:31) Ordinary — Traditional piano ballad. Leisurely pace. Light and uplifting. Doubled lead vocal. Ends a little flat. **
7. (4:28) Like a Lie – Opens airy and drifting with piano, strings and electronic effects. Transitions to nice interplay between the bass and drums. Reminiscent of Split Screens.
8. (4:43) Chiromancer – Starts softly, then shifts to a glitchy, syncopated beat. Male and female duet and harmonizing. Big electric guitar and pounding drums in the middle. **
9. (4:03) World Turn – Very slow fade-in with rain sound effects. Soft, acoustic guitar. Vocals meander a bit. Highly introspective feeling. Mellow saxophone solo in lead break.
10. (4:57) In Her Arms You Will Never Starve – Big orchestrated ballad to close album. Strikes me as a bit overdone.